How AI-powered guided workflows resolve common call center challenges

Tashu Aggarwal

April 25, 20237 min read

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It's no secret that contact centers are under a lot of pressure to provide fast, efficient service to customers. With high call volumes, long wait times, and the need for consistent experiences across multiple channels, contact centers face a range of challenges that can impact their performance and efficiency.

What if there was a solution that could help contact centers overcome these challenges and deliver better customer experiences? Enter AI-powered guided workflows.

Guided workflows are like the GPS of the customer service world — they provide step-by-step instructions to help agents navigate complex processes and resolve customer issues quickly and efficiently. But AI-powered guided workflows take it a step further by incorporating machine learning algorithms that can analyze customer interactions, identify intents and provide agents with real-time guidance and suggestions.

Guided workflows are versatile and can be customized to perform a variety of tasks across different industries. This means that businesses can create workflows that are unique to their products, services, and customer base and can incorporate their own branding and voice into the workflow.

For instance, in the travel industry, guided workflows can help agents check flight schedules, book flight tickets and hotels, and manage changes or cancellations to travel itineraries.

In the retail industry, guided workflows can assist agents with processing returns and refunds, tracking orders, and providing product recommendations.

In the healthcare industry, guided workflows can help agents schedule patient appointments, access their medical records, and provide telemedicine services.

In the tech industry, they can be used to troubleshoot technical problems and guide customers through the installation process.

An image with several suggested guided workflows for the given customer query
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Addressing contact center challenges with AI-powered guided workflows

Contact centers face a range of challenges that can impact their performance and efficiency. Let's take a look at some of the most common challenges and explore how AI-powered guided workflows can help address them:

Challenge #1: High call volumes

We've all been there — waiting on hold for what feels like an eternity, listening to the same elevator music over and over again. High call volumes can make it difficult for agents to handle each call efficiently, leading to long wait times for customers and increased costs for the business.

With guided workflows as their trusty sidekick, contact center agents can receive real-time guidance and suggestions on how to handle each call effectively, ensuring that every customer receives the attention and care they deserve. Guided workflows can also help agents close conversations quickly, allowing them to handle a larger volume of inquiries in a shorter amount of time.

For example, if a customer is reaching out with a specific issue or complaint, the guided workflow can provide the agent with a set of predefined steps to follow to resolve the issue efficiently. This may include troubleshooting steps, escalation procedures or other relevant information.

By providing this guidance, the guided workflow can help the agent solve the customer's problem quickly and effectively, ultimately leading to a faster resolution and a more satisfied customer. Once the issue has been resolved, the guided workflow can prompt the agent to ask if there are any additional questions or concerns and, if not, close the conversation.

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Challenge #2: Inconsistent customer experiences

We've also all experienced the frustration of getting different answers from different agents, leading to confusion and a lack of trust in the company. 

Imagine a scenario where a customer contacts a company twice, once through a phone call and once through email, to inquire about the same product. However, their inquiry is handled by different agents, one who may not be well-versed with the product and another who is more knowledgeable about it. 

Without a guided workflow, there's a high possibility that the phone agent might provide a different response than the email agent, causing inconsistency and confusion for the customer.

But with an AI-powered guided workflow, both agents would follow the same standardized process for handling inquiries related to the product. As a result, regardless of the channel or the agent's level of expertise or experience with the product, the customer would receive a consistent and accurate response, leading to a more positive and trustworthy customer experience.

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Challenge #3: Lack of agent training

Lack of agent training can be a significant challenge for contact centers, particularly for new agents who may not have the experience necessary to handle customer inquiries effectively. This can lead to longer call times and frustrated customers, which can ultimately harm the contact center's reputation and bottom line.

However, AI-powered guided workflows can provide real-time guidance and instructions to help new agents handle customer interactions more effectively. 

For example, if a customer wants to inquire about their account balance, the guided workflow can provide the agent with step-by-step instructions on how to access the necessary information and provide an accurate response.

Another example is if a customer reaches out to report a problem with their product, the guided workflow can provide the agent with a checklist of troubleshooting steps to follow.

By providing agents with this level of guidance, guided workflows can help new agents handle customer interactions with confidence and accuracy, even if they haven't received extensive product knowledge training. This can reduce call handling times and increase customer satisfaction, as customers are more likely to receive quick and accurate responses to their inquiries.

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Challenge #4: Inefficient knowledge management

Without a guided workflow, the agent may spend time searching through different resources to find the necessary information, resulting in a delayed response time and frustrated customers.

With AI-powered guided workflows, agents can be directed to the right resources at the right time, reducing the need for time-consuming searches and improving the speed and accuracy of their responses. 

Additionally, guided workflows can be customized to integrate with a contact center's knowledge management system, making it easy for agents to access the most up-to-date information from a centralized database.

For example, if a customer emails a company asking about the compatibility of a product with their current system, the guided workflow can quickly identify the intent of the inquiry and suggest a path for the agent to follow. The workflow can then provide step-by-step instructions on how to access the necessary information from the knowledge management system and provide an accurate response to the customer.

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Challenge #5: Inability to identify customer intent

Contact center agents often struggle with understanding the customer's intent behind their inquiry, which can make it challenging to provide the right solution, especially for complicated issues or when dealing with multiple inquiries in a single call.

However, AI-powered guided workflows use machine learning algorithms to analyze customer interactions and detect the intent behind their inquiries and suggest the most appropriate path for the agents to take.

For example, if a customer calls to inquire about the availability of a particular product, the guided workflow can use NLP to identify the intent of the inquiry and suggest a path for the agent to follow, such as checking the inventory database, providing information on alternative products, or offering to place a backorder for the customer. This not only saves time for the agent but also provides a personalized and satisfactory customer experience.

Wrapping up

AI-powered guided workflows are like having a co-pilot on your customer service journey. They provide agents with the guidance and support they need to navigate complex processes and deliver consistent and accurate customer experiences.

As technology continues to evolve, we can expect guided workflows to become an increasingly integral part of contact center operations, offering new features and capabilities. From sentiment analysis to voice recognition, the possibilities are endless. So, buckle up and let AI-powered guided workflows take your contact center to new heights!

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